over 100 events a year, the GSH offers unparalleled opportunities to volunteer and
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Lee Lawyer was born in Kansas, but his family moved around considerably, since his father worked for a pipeline company. Lee's early introduction to the petroleum industry was largely centered in Oklahoma. He followed this up with his entry to the University of Oklahoma, where he began studies in petroleum engineering but soon switched to geological engineering. These studies were interrupted, when he was drafted into the military during the Korean War. He entered the army as a private but was later selected for Officer Candidate School. Upon completion of officer school, he became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Corp of Engineers. Thus, began Lee's leadership training while he served in France during the war. Upon completion of his service, he returned to Oklahoma where he completed his geological engineering degree in 1954.
Having several job offers, Lee took the offer to be a geophysicist because he was not sure what a geophysicist did. (Note: this will not be the last time Lee makes a sarcastic remark.) He went to work for Standard Oil Company of Texas (SOTEX). Initially, he was a junior bird dog (Client Representative) on company seismic crews and other contract crews. Not only was Lee a representative on seismic crews, but he also was the client representative on seven contract gravity crews. In total, he moved 30 times in three years. Lee then spent several years prospecting as a seismic interpreter. Lee says he enjoyed that job more than all the others because of the hands-on-data nature of the work. SOTEX became Chevron in 1961 and Lee spent many years moving between cities such as Houston, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Denver, and San Francisco, while progressing through the organization as Division Geophysicist, Vice President, and finally, Chief Geophysicist of the Chevron Corporation from which he retired in 1992.
Lee began an extensive volunteer service with the SEG in 1967 when he was on the Arrangements Committee for the SEG Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City. He was the Chair of the Arrangements Committee for the 1975 Annual Meeting. He was the General Chair of the 1978 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. In 2005, Lee was the Chairman of SEG's 75th Anniversary Committee. His service with the SEG did not end there as he has also served in elected positions. Lee was the Second Vice President in 1980-81. He was the SEG's first President-Elect in 1986-87 and then served as President 1987-88. During his Presidency he helped the SEG withstand the major industry downturn. Lee has also served as a GSH Representative on the SEG Council for a number of years and is currently finishing a three-year term as Chair of the Council.
With all of Lee's service to the SEG, it is hard to believe that he had time for the GSH. His activity with the GSH certainly rose after his retirement from Chevron in 1992. Lee has served on several committees over the years, including the Symposium, Financial, Nominations, and Teller Committees, etc. In 2001-02, he was an assistant to the Editor of the GSH Newsletter. He was elected to Editor the following year. Recognizing the depth of the editorship position, the GSH asked Lee if he would be Editor a second year; he agreed and was re-elected, serving in the position 2002-04.
Lee was instrumental in forming the GSH Journal, which began publication in 2010. For a number of years, he has served as chair of the Editorial Committee. The Journal is noted for the Doodlebugger Diary, A Conversation With, and the Tutorial Nuggets. Lee's writing skills are renowned. He has written the very popular series, “From the Other Side” (FTOS), in the SEG's The Leading Edge for about 24 years (288 columns). In the past year this series has moved from The Leading Edge to the GSH Journal. So, check out the FTOS series in the Journal, and partake of Lee's wit and foresight.
Lee is also the Chair of the Advisory Committee for the GSH. Herein lies perhaps the greatest benefit that Lee provides the GSH; in an organization where the leadership changes from year to year, Lee provides GSH experience covering many years and provides sound and insightful advice to the leadership of the GSH. Lee has been involved in volunteering for the GSH for over 25 years now. He also has made many financial contributions to the GSH over the years, often in support of the Geoscience Center and students who participate in GSH activities.
Lee not only volunteers for the GSH, but is probably the most active participant in GSH activities. He attends many technical events and is grateful for the technical knowledge that is shared. This shared knowledge helps keep him abreast of the technical changes occurring in our technical profession. Needless to say, he also enjoys the social events. You will often find
him in the middle of spirited discussions at these events. He also feeds his competitive spirit by playing in the golf and tennis tournaments. Lee and Haynie Stringer (another strong volunteer for the GSH) show up at the GSH office periodically for "Taco-Fest" to show the staff our appreciation for their efforts.
When asked why he volunteers for the GSH, he says that he is "paying it back". Younger members can “pay it forward”. Lee is proud of what he has contributed to our geophysical profession and very grateful for all that the profession has given to him. He highly encourages all geophysicists to get involved with the GSH. If you are interested in volunteering for the GSH, contact officers, committee chairs, Kathy or Karen in the office, or anyone else that you might know that is involved in the GSH. Volunteering will also add to your professional contacts and make you a more integral part of "the brotherhood of geoscientists".
In recognition of a lifetime of contributing time and effort to the SEG and GSH, Lee has received numerous awards. The SEG has awarded Lee with a Special Commendation Award, the SEG Presidential Award, and SEG Honorary Membership. The GSH has awarded Lee with Lifetime Membership and twice he was presented the GSH Presidential Award. Please join us in recognizing Lee for all his efforts for the GSH, and the next time you see him, personally thank him for all that he has done for the GSH.